Outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease and surveillance in Mtubatuba KwaZulu-Natal

Outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease and surveillance in Mtubatuba KwaZulu-Natal

Outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease and surveillance in Mtubatuba KwaZulu-Natal


27 January 2022

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Report compiled by:
Directorate: Animal Health
This report includes all information as available by close of business on 27 January 2022. All the updates contained in this report may not currently reflect on the OIE WAHIS system due to technical difficulties with the OIE reporting system.

Update reports will from now on be issued on a monthly basis, unless there are significant changes to the previous report.

1. Current Status
Since the previous update report of December 2021, there has been a change in the number of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) affected locations in KwaZulu-Natal Province. At the time of the last report, there were 26 affected locations. Since then, two locations have been resolved and closed with the OIE, and one new location has been added. There are therefore currently 25 affected locations. Serological and clinical surveillance is ongoing. Movement control measures remain in place in the reduced Disease Management Area.

The map in the report indicates the FMD outbreaks in KwaZulu-Natal since the start of the event in May 2021. Red dots indicating open outbreaks and stars indicating outbreaks that have been closed with the OIE.

Map 1: FMD outbreaks in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. (See report below)

2. Affected locations
Clinical and serological surveillance at the two previously infected feedlots indicated that there was no active disease spread amongst animals for a period of more than 6 months. Quarantine has been lifted on both feedlots and slaughtering is continuing for the local market.

The positive dip tank locations identified in 2021 encompass two clusters in communal grazing land. A new positive location was reported between the two main clusters in January 2022, still within the Disease Management Area. Clinical inspection and sample collection is being intensified in the newly identified infected area. The map hereunder indicates the two clusters of infected dip tanks in Nongoma and Hluhluwe, as well as the newly identified positive dip tank in the Hlabisa area.

Map 2: FMD positive dip tanks in KwaZulu Natal (See report below)

3. Control measures implemented
3.1 Declaration of a Disease Management Area:
The Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development declared a Disease Management Area (DMA) in the KwaZulu-Natal Province in the Government Gazette No. 44783 on 30 June 2021, which was reduced in size on 7 September 2021, as declared in the Government Gazette No. 45109. This reduced DMA with all of its control measures is still in place.

3.2 Movement control in the DMA:
There has been no change in the movement restrictions on cloven-hoofed animals, their products and genetic material out of, into, within or through the revised DMA. Roadblocks and Visible Veterinary Patrols continue to monitor movements of animals within, through and out of the DMA.

3.3 No vaccination:
Clinical and serological surveillance is ongoing to provide as much information as possible regarding the newly infected area. The use of vaccination may be re-considered after gathering the relevant information about the recently affected location.

3.4 Biosecurity Awareness:
Farmers and dip tank associations are continuously kept informed and reminded of the importance of biosecurity during a disease outbreak. They are being urged to apply these practices to avoid further spread of the disease.

4. Epidemiological investigation

Clinical and serological surveillance around the affected areas continue, with intensified inspections around the newly identified infected dip tank. The virus involved in the newly affected area is the same SAT 2 serotype that was involved since the start of the outbreak in May 2021. Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) as well as serological detection of antibodies against the virus at the Onderstepoort Veterinary Research OIE Reference Laboratory – Agricultural Research Council confirmed all infections to date.

Since the start of the outbreak in May 2021, samples have been collected from 421 locations in the province. Two rounds of serological surveillance have been completed and a third round is underway, which will mainly focus on the newly identified positive dip tank. The map hereunder indicates all surveillance that has been done since the start of the outbreak. The red dots and star indicate the positive locations, while green dots/stars indicate negative locations as tested in the different surveillance rounds.

Map 3: Surveillance in the KZN FMD outbreak 2021 – 2022 (See report below)

5. Trade implications

There has been no change in the trade implications since the previous report. Most trade partners retained the agreements negotiated in 2019, following the loss of South Africa’s FMD free zone status, for commodities processed to ensure inactivation of the FMD virus and for pigs, pig semen, raw pork and pork products from known FMD free pig compartments.

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